Republicans in both the House and the Senate are calling for an investigation into Google for a possible bias against conservatives. Google has come under fire multiple times along with other tech companies such as Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook for online censorship of conservative content on their platforms.
Via Twitter, Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) called on the Department of Justice on Friday morning, November 30th, to launch an investigation into Google’s unfair treatment of conservatives. Included in Rep. Gosar’s tweet was a link to an exclusive article published by the Daily Caller News Foundation showing that certain Google employees demonstrated a clear bias towards conservatives, and even intended to take action to ensure that conservative content did not appear as high in search engines as other, more liberal news sources.
“Google has a virtual monopoly as far as search engines go. It’s past time @DOJPH investigate this and it’s time Congress evaluates Google’s suppression of ideas, content, discussion,” Gosar tweeted.
A perusal of the article by the Daily Caller News Foundation shows that many Google employees were both shocked and angered when Trump won the 2016 presidential election. Many Google employees were evidently expecting that Hillary Clinton would win. Documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation reveal that Google employees considered censoring specifically theDCNF in an effort to swing public opinion in favor of left-leaning ideologies.
According to the exclusive article by the Daily Caller News Foundation:
Communications obtained by TheDCNF show that internal Google discussions went beyond expressing remorse over Clinton’s loss to actually discussing ways Google could prevent Trump from winning again.
“This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it,” Google engineer Scott Byer wrote in a Nov. 9, 2016, post reviewed by TheDCNF.
Byer falsely labeled The Daily Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs” and urged his coworkers to reduce their visibility in search results.
“How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Byer wrote.
“I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises,” he continued.
“Beyond that, let’s concentrate on teaching critical thinking. A little bit of that would go a long way. Let’s make sure that we reverse things in four years – demographics will be on our side.”
It is worth noting that several of Byer’s colleagues did express concern that Byer’s ideas could eventually backfire on Google.
More from the Daily Caller News Foundation:
One Google engineer, Uri Dekel, identified himself as a Clinton supporter but argued that manipulating search results was the wrong route to take.
“Thinking that Breitbart, Drudge, etc. are not ‘legitimate news sources’ is contrary to the beliefs of a major portion of our user base is partially what got us to this mess. MSNBC is not more legit than Drudge just because Rachel Maddow may be more educated / less deplorable / closer to our views, than, say Sean Hannity,” Dekel wrote in a reply to Byer.
“I follow a lot of right wing folks on social networks you could tell something was brewing. We laughed off Drudge’s Instant Polls and all that stuff, but in the end, people go to those sources because they believe that the media doesn’t do it’s job. I’m a Hillary supporter and let’s admit it, the media avoided dealing with the hard questions and issues, which didn’t pay off. By ranking ‘legitimacy’ you’ll just introduce more conspiracy theories,” Dekel added.
“What I believe we can do, technically, that avoids the accusations of conspiracy or bias from people who ultimately have a right and obligation to decide what they want to believe, is to get better at displaying the ‘ripples’ and copy-pasta, to trace information to its source, to link to critiques of those sources, and let people decide what sources they believe,” another Google engineer, Mike Brauwerman, suggested.
Even Google’s Vice President of Engineering, David Besbris chimed in on the discussion saying, Google was “working on providing users with context around stories so that they can know the bigger picture. We can play a role in providing the full story and educate them about all sides. This doesn’t have to be filtering and can be useful to everyone,” he wrote.
The discussion ultimately culminated in Google rolling out a “fact-checker,” which turned into a miserably failed endeavor. The “fact-checker” repeatedly slandered conservatives with false accusations and after two months, Google gave up on the idea.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that Google is denying all accusations of actually tampering with algorithms to censor conservative content. A spokeswoman for Google said “This post shows that far from suppressing… [the] Daily Caller, we surfaced these sites regularly in our products. Furthermore, it shows that we value providing people with the full view on stories from a variety of sources,” the spokeswoman told TheDCNF in an email.
However, that isn’t considered satisfactory enough to some Republicans. Senator-elect Josh Hawley (R-MI) also tweeted that Google executives need to explain themselves under penalty of perjury.
“Today [Google] accounts for nearly 90 percent of worldwide search traffic. … Unfortunately, recent reports suggest Google might not be wielding its vast power impartially,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a Wednesday press release.